50 Foot Wave – “God’s Not A Dick” (Stereogum Premiere)

50 Foot Wave has an EP called Bath White on the way, and today they’ve shared its latest single, the intriguingly titled “God’s Not A Dick.” Though frontwoman Kristin Hersh has been busy writing and touring with her other project Throwing Muses in recent years, Bath White marks the first 50 Foot Wave release since 2012’s With Love From The Men’s Room.

“God’s Not A Dick” is classic 50 Foot Wave, featuring a strong electric guitar line that follows Hersh’s artful, anguished vocals and lyricism, plus lively percussion that lends the track its vibrancy. Its rhythmic pattern reflects the intonations and tremblings of Hersh’s voice, intricately intwining her vocals with the band’s elaborate guitar work. Eventually, as Hersh menacingly sings, “Two black eyes behind sunglasses,” a sweeping guitar solo takes over, creating a riveting feeling like sound is truly “all over you.” Listen below, where you can also read a short story by Hersh relating to the song.

“Only cash, we got electricity!” the lady yelled when I opened the liquor store door.

She was built entirely of load­bearing tattoos that seemed to barely support her long, burnt hair. No body, no face. “Oh, it’s you. You live up the block? Pay me later.”

I let the door shut behind me. “You have electricity?”

“Everywhere!” she threw up her hands, “except where it should be. Everything shocks you. Buy whatever you want, but don’t touch nuthin’.”

While I tried to figure out how to do this, the bell on the door behind me dinged anda tourist couple walked in. A few raindrops followed them. The cashier glanced over her shoulder and slammed the register shut. “Only cash!” she told them and they nodded. “And don’t touch nuthin’.” They nodded again, scared. “It’s for your own good,” she explained. “Everything shocks you.” This fact did seem to shock them, actually.

Tattoos and burnt hair animated themselves enough to grab a stepladder and look up, as rain began to drum on the metal roof. You could see her face now, as she gazed into the fluorescent lights on the ceiling: suspicious, tired but afraid to let down her guard. She maybe ran hot and then went cold and now it could go either way. “No barbecue, today, neither,” she sighed, disgusted. She began emptying the contents of the refrigerator into a cooler on the floor.

I grabbed a carton of milk. It did not shock me. “I’m taking this,” I told her and moved toward the door. The rain was getting crazy. In New Orleans, it comes down sudden. Just know that as long as it’s coming down and not sideways, you’re cool. “‘Kay, good,” she muttered without looking up. The tourists huddled together, moving carefully down an aisle and whispering, for some reason. The red headed woman’s tattoos continued to move perishables into the cooler. “This blows,” she spat, and climbed down the stepladder to light a cigarette.

“It’s kinda cool,” I said, opening the door to watch heavy raindrops splash under the awning. A few cars drove by, their headlights making the torrent glow. I love the rushing sound of cars in rain. “It’s…science,” I said.

The cashier squinted at me through the cigarette smoke obscuring her face. “Science is a dick,” she announced flatly.

Smiling, I waved goodbye with my quart of milk, stepped outside and shut the door carefully, blinking in the wet. The sidewalk ran, the gutters were rivers, and enormous flowers, big as your head, cranked it all up…underwater blue and on wicked fire.

Bath White is out 5/27 on HHBTM Records. Pre-order it here.

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